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Leadership

 

James E. Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP
James E. Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP
James E. Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP
Executive Director
 
Jim Bailey is Executive Director of the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. He also serves as the Robert S. Pearce Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine, Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and Director for the Center for Health System Improvement. Dr. Bailey continues to practice general internal medicine as a primary care physician for adults with complex chronic illness and teaches doctors-in-training. He is principal investigator (PI) for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded study, Management of Diabetes in Everyday Life (MODEL), which recently demonstrated the effectiveness of low-cost motivational text messaging and health coaching to improve healthy eating and other essential diabetes self-care decisions in low-income people with uncontrolled diabetes. He was PI for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-funded SafeMed study that demonstrated how hospitals can drastically reduce hospital re-admissions and overall costs through better outpatient care. Dr. Bailey has served as PI for over 10 major grants and health systems improvement research initiatives and has over 75 journal articles, book chapters, and publications. His research appears in many peer-reviewed medical journals, including JAMAJournal of General Internal Medicine, and Annals of Internal Medicine. His novel, The End of Healing: A Journey Through the Underworld of American Medicine, received a Benjamin Franklin Book Award for popular fiction. Dr. Bailey’s work focuses on patient-centered approaches to improve quality of care and health outcomes for people living in medically underserved areas with multiple chronic conditions. He enjoys leading multidisciplinary teams to address systemic challenges using innovative approaches to meet the triple aim and simultaneously improve patient experience, maximize population health, and reduce healthcare costs.
 
Email: jeb@uthsc.edu 
Phone: 901.448.2475

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Annie B. Ninan, MBA, MA (Eco), MSN- FNP-BC
Annie B. Ninan, MBA, MA (Eco), MSN- FNP-BC
Deputy Executive Director
 
Annie Ninan is Deputy Executive Director of the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. She brings diverse managerial and clinical experience to the Consortium team. She is a board-certified family nurse practitioner, and in that role saw patients in the primary care setting prior to moving into the operations and informatics arena of healthcare. At HCA Healthcare she managed and led the clinical informatics team, and was responsible for the rollout and implementation of several programs and products in the ambulatory settings across the HCA enterprise. As Director of Strategic Operations she implemented Annual Wellness and Episodes of Care programs throughout the LifePoint Health organization’s network of rural hospitals and practices. She brings vast knowledge and experience from her work to drive, roll out, and implement several programs including Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH), Episodes of Care program and Center for Medicare Services (CMS) quality initiatives such as MACRA/MIPS/CCM/CPC+ and value-based programs.
 
Phone: 615.828.8985

  Umar Kabir
Umar Y. Kabir, DVM, MPH, PhD 
Umar Y. Kabir, DVM, MPH, PhD
Director of Operations 

Umar Kabir serves as Director of Operations for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium as well as Research Leader at the Center for Health System Improvement at UTHSC College of Medicine. With a PhD in Health Systems Management at the University of Memphis School of Public Health, he brings a wealth of research experience in various areas including process improvement, health information technology (HIT), health systems strengthening, and healthcare disparities in low-resource communities and among vulnerable populations. Dr. Kabir earned his Master of Public Health from Western Kentucky University in 2016 and holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ahmadu Bello University (2011). He is a published author in several peer-reviewed journals and is a seasoned presenter at both national and international conferences. As an educator Dr. Kabir has taught at the University of Memphis and the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism in Abuja, FTC. He also completed a fellowship in Process Improvement at Qsource. Dr. Kabir’s professional experience includes working as an epidemiologist fellow for the Shelby County government, where he managed the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Cluster Investigation Unit and Special Investigations Teams. Early in his career, he was a clinician at the State House Veterinary Clinic in Abuja.

Email: ukabir@uthsc.edu 
Phone: 901.448.2453

Satya Surbhi
Satya Surbhi, PhD
Satya Surbhi, PhD
Director of Measurement and Reporting
 
Satya Surbhi, an Assistant Professor in the Center for Health System Improvement, College of Medicine, UTHSC, serves as Director of Measurement and Reporting for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. Dr. Surbhi obtained her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in India, completed her Master's in Pharmacy Administration from St. John’s University, and obtained her PhD in Health Outcomes and Policy Research from UTHSC. Her current work focuses on medication adherence, social determinants of health, care transitions, quality improvement, and comparative effectiveness of therapies, among vulnerable patients with multiple chronic conditions. She has experience in conducting health services research among medically underserved populations using administrative claims data and electronic medical records, as well as in conducting pragmatic randomized controlled trials. Currently, she is the principal investigator of a study funded through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). The major goal of this project is to test the effectiveness of a pharmacy-led care transitions intervention to provide free medications, convenient medication delivery, and care coordination in improving adherence and reducing hospitalizations, emergency department use, and costs. She is also the principal investigator on the CDC 1815 project in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Health, which focuses on CDC strategies to improve prevention and management of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke in Tennessee. Additionally, she is the Co-Investigator on quality improvement projects funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and by UnitedHealthcare.

Email: ssurbhi@uthsc.edu  
Phone: 901.448.4166
Curriculum Vitae

Asos Mahmood photo
Asos Mahmood, PhD, MPH
Asos Mahmood
Director of Population Health Research Education
 
Asos Mahmood is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Health System Improvement at the UTHSC’s College of Medicine and serves as Director of Population Health Research Education for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. Dr. Mahmood received his Ph.D. in Health Systems Management and Policy from the University of Memphis School of Public Health and received his Master of Public Health from the same school. He also earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree from the University of Sulaimani School of Medicine. Dr. Mahmood’s research is focused on the biopsychosocial determinants of health, chronic medical conditions, health care disparities, and health services access and utilization among aging, low-income, and underserved populations. He is also interested in research assessing and evaluating the role of evidence-based interventions and health policies in prevention and improving health outcomes for patients with chronic medical conditions. His other research interests include examining impacts of health informatics and patient-empowering tools, such as mobile health (mHealth) apps, in enhancing the quality of life and quality of delivered care. Dr. Mahmood has presented his research at various scientific conferences and has successfully published in many peer-reviewed prestigious national and international journals including the European Heart Journal, Health Services Research, Cancer Causes & Control, and Journal of Medical Internet Research.
 

Phone: 901.608.9149


Ashley Ellis, PharmD, MBA, CDECS
Ashley Ellis, PharmD, MBA, CDECS
Ashley Ellis, PharmD, MBA, CDECS
Director of Practice Implementation
 
Ashley Ellis is Director of Practice Implementation for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium and serves as Assistant Dean for Strategic Partnerships & Innovation at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy. Dr. Ellis received her PharmD degree at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy in 2007 and completed a PGY-1 Community Pharmacy Residency program at Shenandoah University with Leesburg Pharmacy. She earned her MBA from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Ellis has served in academia in positions at Shenandoah University and the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy with practice sites in underserved populations, community pharmacy and ambulatory care. She has also worked in independent pharmacy as an owner, within a primary care clinic building clinical services, and in account management and clinical operations as Vice President in chronic care management and remote patient monitoring. In her position as Assistant Dean at the College of Pharmacy she is leading expansion of pharmacy services specifically in primary care to better serve Tennesseans and training opportunities for student pharmacists. She was named as one of Memphis Business Journal's Super Women in Business in 2021. Her daughter's battle with severe eczema has led to some of her favorite work with the National Eczema Association as an ambassador, the Global Parents for Eczema Research as a Senior Caregiver Mentor, and the 2020-2022 Spokesperson for the educational Understand AD Campaign.
 
Phone: 901.448.3806

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Susan Butterworth, PhD
Susan Butterworth, PhD
Director of Patient Engagement
 
Susan Butterworth serves as an Associate Professor in the Center for Health System Improvement, College of Medicine, at UTHSC, and serves as Director of Patient Engagement for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. As Director of Patient Engagement, Dr. Butterworth oversees the curriculum, program development, delivery, and competency assessment for UTHSC Motivational Interviewing, Health Coach, and Community Health Worker Training and Certification programs for lay and clinical health care workers. She has a clinical background in exercise physiology and received her doctoral degree in adult education and training, with a cognate in health promotion from Virginia Commonwealth University. During her 20-year tenure as faculty at Oregon Health & Science University, she founded Health Management Services which won several national awards. Dr. Butterworth's special area of expertise and research is the practical application of behavior change science, such as Motivational Interviewing-based health coaching, to various healthcare settings. She has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous NIH, HRSA and PCORI grants to study the efficacy and impact of health management interventions and has published multiple articles on the theory and outcomes of health coaching. Dr. Butterworth has been an active member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) since 2002, and has developed certification courses on motivational interviewing and health coaching for clinicians, health coaches, and community health workers for premier health systems nationwide.
 

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Cori Grant, MBA, PhD
Cori Grant, MBA, PhD
Implementation Research Lead
 
Cori Cohen Grant is a part-time Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and the Center for Health System Improvement at UTHSC, where she leads the qualitative and implementation science teams for the Heart Health Network funded by AHRQ, and Research Associate with AMGA. In her roles, Dr. Grant conducts implementation science and qualitative research projects in partnership with healthcare systems. Dr. Grant has held a variety of roles which included leading large-scale quality improvement initiatives on behalf of CMS, implementation studies, and small-scale collaboratives. As the director of marketing research and planning for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, she conducted research, often including consumers, to guide business decisions and quality improvement initiatives for the organization. During this time, she designed and analyzed dozens of qualitative and quantitative research studies utilizing market research techniques such as focus groups, qualitative interviews, and surveys. Cori is a six-sigma green belt and earned a Master of Science in Public Health from The University of Texas School of Public Health and an MBA from The University of Tennessee. She received a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Memphis School of Public Health. Dr. Grant’s research interests are focused on improving chronic disease management and prevention and promoting health equity. Outside of work, Cori enjoys playing competitive tennis and volunteering on the Assisi Foundation Community Board to help identify health and social needs in the Memphis community.
 

Nicky Hitching
Nicky Hitching, BA
Nicky Hitching, BA
Marketing and Communications Lead
 
Nicky Hitching serves as Marketing and Communications Lead for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium and its signature initiative, the Tennessee Heart Health Network, as well as the Center for Health System Improvement. She has experience as a writer for Memphis nonprofits, and in her previous career worked for many years as a journalist for Memphis Business Journal and for national business and finance publications. She received her BA from Vanderbilt University.
 
Phone: 901.448.2477

Gladys Hunt
Gladys Icaza Hunt, BA
Gladys Icaza Hunt, BA
Patient Advisory Council Coordinator
 
Gladys Hunt serves as the Research Coordinator for the TN Heart Health Network initiative and Patient Advisory Council Coordinator for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. As PAC Coordinator she is responsible for organizing patient partner experts in patient advisory councils in hub cities in each of Tennessee’s grand regions. She received her BA in International Business at Memphis State University. After a long career in management for an international corporation, she shifted her focus to healthcare in 2002. Prior to joining the Center for Health System Improvement, she worked for a healthcare consulting organization working to improve healthcare quality in all clinical settings.
 
Avinash Pakker, MS, Pharm-D
Avinash Pakker, MS, Pharm-D 
Avinash Pakker, MS, Pharm-D
Data Analyst, Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet)
 
Avinash Pakker serves as Data Analyst for the Center for Health System Improvement and Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet). He is responsible for the analysis of EHR and administrative claims databases, production of quality/practice improvement reports for TN-POPnet participating health systems and practices and for assisting with the design, analysis, and interpretation of various health services research studies. He also helps to operationalize research questions, create study cohorts, apply analytic approaches, and assist with interpretation. Avinash has a MS in Health Informatics from Indiana University and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad, India.
 

 

Graduate Research Assistants

 


Debby Ogunsanmi
Deborah Ogunsanmi, B Pharm
 
Deborah Ogunsanmi, B Pharm
Graduate Research Assistant
 
Deborah Ogunsanmi is a PhD student in the Institute for Health Outcomes and Policy at UTHSC and a graduate research assistant in the Center for Health System Improvement. She also actively supports research initiatives of the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. She received her bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Her research interest is focused on social determinants of health (SDOH) and on improving health care quality, health outcomes, access to medicines, and medication adherence especially amongst those with chronic conditions. Ms. Ogunsanmi has gained valuable experience working with various databases including Registry, electronic medical records, and federal clains (Medicaid claims).In her free time she enjoys working out, traveling, and making new friends.  
 
Feb 13, 2024